Tribunal flooded by claims for WW II pensions

10th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 February 2005, DUSSELDORF - Germany's decision to contribute to the old-age pensions of tens of thousands of survivors of World War Two ghettos has triggered a surge in litigation by Israelis whose claims have been disallowed. The number of challenges has tripled in the space of a year to 1,300, said Peter Elling, president of the Dusseldorf social-welfare tribunal that is responsible for settling the disputes. Some 30,000 applications for pension contributions had been received from Israeli Jews since

11 February 2005

DUSSELDORF - Germany's decision to contribute to the old-age pensions of tens of thousands of survivors of World War Two ghettos has triggered a surge in litigation by Israelis whose claims have been disallowed.

The number of challenges has tripled in the space of a year to 1,300, said Peter Elling, president of the Dusseldorf social-welfare tribunal that is responsible for settling the disputes.

Some 30,000 applications for pension contributions had been received from Israeli Jews since 2002, Elling said. That was the year that Germany introduced new benefits for Holocaust survivors.

After special provision was made for former slave labourers and forced labourers, a German court directed Berlin to also help Jews who had worked in poverty-stricken sections of eastern European cities that were cordoned off by the Nazis.

Elling said his tribunal, which is responsible for appeals from claimants based in Israel, aimed to settle all the disputes within 18 months. He said he expected about 3,000 more challenges to be filed.

So far, Germany is contributing to the old-age pensions of 12,500 Israelis. Germany's pension system is financed by a levy on the pay of all people who are currently working in the country.

DPA

Subject: German news

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